One of the most pressing things on my mind recently is how I am sharing Jesus and my faith in Him to my young sons.
It is a wonderful gift to have my blog, to share Bible study tips and routines, areas of scripture God has been teaching me and of course chatting back and forth with you all. However the greatest call I have is that of mothering my two boys and teaching them all about Jesus.
I have been entrusted with them for such a short time, it will only be fourteen short summers until Nathanael will be eighteen, I can’t quite comprehend how quickly it is all flying by and I have to challenge the perfectionist within me daily “am I teaching them the most important thing?”
Good manners, and a great education will get you far in this life but it will not stand for eternity. As parents we cannot have faith in Jesus for our children but I can speak from experience, how we choose to live out our faith in front of them will go a long way in our children deciding to choose God for themselves.
Here are a few ways that I am sharing my faith with my four and one year old now;
Thankfulness – At the end of our dinnertime, Nathanael and I will share our favourite parts of the day, usually it is five favourite things and they range from “I played with trains” to “I loved reading books with Mummy and Daddy.” Nathanael always shares his favourite things first and then I will share mine I will call out the great character Nathanael for instance “My favourite part was Nathanael sharing his toys with Judah, you were kind and generous to him” at the end of our sharing I always say to Nathanael “Hasn’t God given us a great day?”
Calling out, thanking God and remembering the good he has done for us is a really simple, no fuss, non religious way of sharing about God. God is always good, always generous, always abounding in love for us and by sharing our favourite parts I am directing not only Nathanael’s heart but my own to be grateful to God for all He has done for us.
Get outside – My boys love being outside, love exploring new places and seeing new things and when I am not thinking about it these moments in Gods creation can quickly pass us by. I have asked God for opportunities when we visit places to allow me to point my sons to Him, if we are out in a garden estate I will ask Nate “Who do you think made that flower?” and He will often say God, if he does I can go with that conversation and we can chat about all the many things God made and how he cares for them, and cared for us! I honestly find this one of the most simple but effective ways to get my children talking about God because his majesty and wonder is so clearly on display in creation.
Mistakes – We all make mistakes during the course of a day, from forgetfulness, taking things for granted, being a bit quick to correct when encouragement might of been needed. My children sin and so do I, and I try and fail that when this happens we are quick to recognise the problem in our hearts and ask Jesus to help us.
I am by no ways great at this, it is hard when I know I have sinned to humble myself to my children but the only way I can foster humbleness in them is to walk it out with them. I tell them when I am struggling, I let them know Mummy doesn’t have it all together, I ask them to forgive me and I tell that them God has forgiven me and them too. There is nothing they can do that will stop Gods love for them, and I show them that as well as tell them.
I think the final ones are the most obvious ones, we play lots of worship music in the house the boys love dancing and singing around, Nathanael has his favourite songs from his children’s programme at Church so he gets to choose what he would like on.
Nathanael will now pray over dinner and at night and will ask to pray for specific people, his teachers at school, his leaders at church, he will pray for Luke, Judah and I which is the sweetest thing. We don’t put any limits on what he can and can’t pray about which makes for some interesting chats to God but we don’t drag things out either.
I hope this will give you some ideas on how to share your faith with small children and would love to know ways in which you foster faith in your kids too!